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Firefly: The Complete Series [Blu-ray] by Joss Whedon (Creator/Executive Producer) 
and Tim Minnear (Executive Producer)
Review by Charles Mohapel
20th Century Fox Blu-ray  ISBN/ITEM#: B001EN71CW
Date: 11 November 2008 List Price $89.98 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

I think everyone I know who was a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel), created by Joss Whedon, was also a fan of Firefly, his third show. Unlike the first two series which skillfully blended elements of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and humor, Firefly was a complete change of direction for Whedon. Set 500 years in the future, this Science Fiction-Western hybrid had intelligent plotlines and healthy doses of humor and action. Not preachy in tone, this show made people really think instead of just sitting back and letting the TV set entertain them. Firefly is another example of a show where the network pulled the trigger too soon, leaving three episodes unscreened ("Trash", "The Message", and "Heart of Gold") until the summer of 2003 when it was being used to promote the original DVD set which was released for Christmas 2003. Now if I could only speak Mandarin so I could really express my feelings about the decision to kill this show off way too early.

From official release/information:

Product Description:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: 11/11/2008
Run time: 665 minutes
Rating: NR

Amazon.com
As the 2005 theatrical release of Serenity made clear, Firefly was a science fiction concept that deserved a second chance. Devoted fans (or "Browncoats") knew it all along, and with this well-packaged DVD set, those who missed the show's original broadcasts can see what they missed. Creator Joss Whedon's ambitious science-fiction Western (Whedon's third series after Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) was canceled after only 11 of these 14 episodes had aired on the Fox network, but history has proven that its demise was woefully premature. Whedon's generic hybrid got off to a shaky start when network executives demanded an action-packed one-hour premiere ("The Train Job"); in hindsight the intended two-hour pilot (also titled "Serenity," and oddly enough, the final episode aired) provides a better introduction to the show's concept and splendid ensemble cast. Obsessive fans can debate the quirky logic of combining spaceships with direct parallels to frontier America (it's 500 years in the future, and embattled humankind has expanded into the galaxy, where undeveloped "outer rim" planets struggle with the equivalent of Old West accommodations), but Whedon and his gifted co-writers and directors make it work, at least well enough to fashion a credible context from the incongruous culture-clashing of past, present, and future technologies, along with a polyglot language (the result of two dominant superpowers) that combines English with an abundance of Chinese slang.

What makes it work is Whedon's delightfully well-chosen cast and their nine well-developed characters -- a typically Whedon-esque extended family -- each providing a unique perspective on their adventures aboard Serenity, the junky but beloved "Firefly-class" starship they call home. As a veteran of the disadvantaged Independent faction's war against the all-powerful planetary Alliance (think of it as Underdogs vs. Overlords), Serenity captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) leads his compact crew on a quest for survival. They're renegades with an amoral agenda, taking any job that pays well, but Firefly's complex tapestry of right and wrong (and peace vs. violence) is richer and deeper than it first appears. Tantalizing clues about Blue Sun (an insidious mega-corporation with a mysteriously evil agenda), its ties to the Alliance, and the traumatizing use of Serenity's resident stowaway (Summer Glau) as a guinea pig in the development of advanced warfare were clear indications Firefly was heading for exciting revelations that were precluded by the series' cancellation. Fortunately, the big-screen Serenity (which can be enjoyed independently of the series) ensured that Whedon's wild extraterrestrial west had not seen its final sunset. Its very existence confirms that these 14 episodes (and enjoyable bonus features) will endure as irrefutable proof Fox made a glaring mistake in canceling the series. -- Jeff Shannon

(Source: 20th Century Fox)

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